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The Night of Too Many Snakes
September 27, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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Not much to talk about tonight... just a rough day. But since I'm trying to become more interested in alcohol, I figure a rough day allows me to do a drink experiment. Well, it's about as safe a drink experiment as possible, but so it goes.
I was looking around in my Wal-Mart after work, looking for more Bailey's, and I discovered that there is more to Bailey's than just Bailey's... and more than caramel... and more than mint. Turns out, there is a vanilla cinnamon as well, which I promptly snagged. I apparently have the liver and alcohol tolerance of a 14-year-old girl who just discovered daddy's special cabinet was left unlocked since this is about the limit of what I can deal with, but whatever... I bought it, and tonight, I'm sticking it in coffee.

Well, in a bit. I got Taco Bell for dinner, and I'd wager that Doritos Tacos and coffee is a terrible combination under the best of circumstances. So I need my palate to be cleansed first... but between Doritos Tacos and coffee, I'm pretty sure it'll wind up being similar on my colon to those juice cleanses, only somehow more awful. But then I'll be able to watch the finale of Breaking Bad tomorrow without indigestion distractions!

Or... something. Man, that precap kinda went off the rails in the third paragraph, didn't it? Like I said, rough day. So let's get to SmackDown, and drink some Bailey's.

Segment 1: Cold-open to the arena (no opening music or signature) as Lilian Garcia introduces Triple H, who (as he's been doing lately as a semi-heel) enters with his alternate Motorhead theme. Bow down to the king, baby... most of the crowd cheers him, surprisingly.

Trips blathers about how it's a burden on him and Stephanie McMahon that superstars bitch about Trips's so-called “abuse of power,” even though in his opinion, he and she are all about what's best for business, and those superstars need to just accept their own failures. As an example, he cites how the 11-on-3 handicap elimination tag match worked out on Monday, since the faces won, and everyone was happy about it.

Trips continues to try to explain how it was best for business, not because he was trying to “quell a rebellion” or anything. But before he can continue, The Miz of all people hits the ring to call bullshit. Trips calls bullshit on the bullshit, since Trips has given Miz tons of opportunities over the years, including as recent as a couple weeks ago, when Miz was destroyed by Randy Orton on front of Miz's family. Sure, that sucked for Miz, but it's not Trips's fault that Miz is the one who didn't watch his back and let Orton beat the piss out of him.

Trips also brings up the “opportunity” he gave Miz, allowing Miz to say whatever he wanted, which Miz then “squandered” as it led to Big Show coming out to punch him in the face. Miz isn't sure where the “opportunity” was in that situation. Trips points out that he did want Miz to speak his mind, but all Miz did was call Stephanie names, and that's why Trips feels Steph was justified in bringing out Big Show. Miz then reminds us that he called Steph a “castrating witch,” then adds that he “should have turned the W into a B.”

Trips pretty much rolls his eyes and says it's a further example of Miz running his mouth without being able to back it up. But hey, does he want another opportunity? Trips is feeling generous and will let all the aforementioned crap stay as water under the bridge, so he'll give Miz the opportunity against Randy Orton again tonight. And hell, they're not far from Cleveland (apparently), so Trips is going to hop in his plane, pick up his parent, and fly back (because aviation totally works like that) so they can watch. “Go get him, tiger!” says Trips with an almost-insincere smile, and he walks off without any other weirdness.

Huh. I like this semi-heel status. It makes the whole “abuse of power” storyline unique.

Pre-Segment 2: Good lord, is Lilian Garcia's smile blinding. I mean, yeah, she's hot and all, but her smile... sort of makes me forget about my problems for a few minutes.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio defeats R-Truth by pin. Probably lasted less than three minutes, so definitely not worth recapping in detail, especially since you'd be insane not to call this one correctly. Truth did bust out a sweet new move, as he got ADR up on his shoulders (sort of like in John Cena's FU position), but then did a twirling Stunner, which was pretty sweet. I hope Truth starts using that as a finisher. ADR even came away with a bloody lip, though I don't think it was caused from that.

It wasn't enough for ADR though, who kicked out of the pin attempt, then immediately hit a side kick while Truth was seated. That's ADR's alternate finisher apparently (since he last used it to beat Dolph), and it's enough this time too.

Post-Segment 2: After the match, ADR applied the Cross Arm Breaker to be a jerk. Rob Van Dam tore ass down the ring and made the save; Ricardo Rodriguez came down too and tossed RVD a chair, which he used to hit the “Skateboard,” which I didn't realize was the name of that move... basically, ADR was on his butt, and RVD did a running low dropkick with the chair as an assist.

As RVD celebrates, we cut to the back, where Trips and Vickie Guerrero chat about the feud. They decide that the match between these two at Battleground needs to be a Hardcore Match.

Cut Scene: The Prime Time Players are walking in the back and see two random dudes. They love their Millions of Dollars Dance, so they want the two guys to try it. They completely fuck it up, so Titus O'Neil grabs his whistle to blow a penalty. Then he and Darren Young do the dance again, slower, and the guys are able to keep up. PTP walks away happy, and the two dudes continue it anyway as they walk away.

Heh, cute. I like it when there are twists to the standard “These guys are WALKING~! down the hallway!”

Pre-Segment 3: ...and it seems that helped goad 40% of the crowd to do the dance too. Nice. It seems to be catching.

Segment 3 [Tag Match]: The Real Americans (w/ Zeb Colter) defeat the Prime Time Players by submission. Antonio Cesaro busted out a giant swing on O'Neil for 22 revolutions and remained perfectly upright, which probably breaks some sort of physics law. Crazy.

But that was the only noteworthy spot in an otherwise pure formula match. The ending was clever, as O'Neil powdered out (due to still being dizzy from the giant swing), while Young contained Cesaro. Cesaro managed a tag that the ref saw but Darren didn't, so Darren hit his finisher on Cesaro and made a pin attempt. It didn't matter, as Jack Swagger slid in the ring and applied the Patriot Act Ankle Lock. Young had nowhere to go (even though in his flailing he clearly could have rolled through) and tapped out.

Segment 4: Bray Wyatt (w/ Wyatt Family) defeats Zack Ryder by pin. A more competitive match than I expected, Bray's “brothers” stayed out of it other than to give Zack some “help” into the ring. But Zack did look like a chode late when he hit the Broski Boot, and Bray kicked out of it before even a one count. Seems awfully burying-like, doesn't it?

Anyway, the match ended with the Sister Abigail's Kiss. The Family didn't mess with Ryder after the match, other than posing over his body. No “Follow the buzzards!” though... I'm a little disappointed.

Segment 5 [Singles Match for the United States Title]: Dolph Ziggler (w/ Rob Van Dam & Kofi Kingston) defeats Dean Ambrose (w/ The Shield) by disqualification, but Ambrose retains. Short match. Dolph brought friends to keep it an “even” match, which didn't happen of course, and it broke down to a Pier Six Brawl presently.

So Trips comes out, orders it to be a six-man tag match, then the bell rings... and it cuts to ads. Awesome time management, you guys.

Segment 6 [Six-Man Tag Match]: The Shield defeats Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam, & Dolph Ziggler by pin. Solid match, but nothing really noteworthy... except for what I like to call “the clusterfuck sequence,” which is contrary to the Pier Six Brawl, in that it's a rapid series of moves by everyone. Usually the clusterfuck sequence is finishers, but RVD decided his contribution against Roman Reigns would be to vault over the top rope to the apron, then do a moonsault to squish him between his own body and the announcer's table. Sweet move!

Otherwise, numbers game ensued, and Kofi (legal) was taken out by Ambrose saving Rollins, and Rollins following up. Good match, not really worthy of going out of your way on YouTube, but still worthy of your time in general if you're a fan of The Shield.

Segment 7: Renee Young interviews Big Show, who says that he gets everyone's frustration on why he's being a pussy, but that he totally needs to do what Trips and Steph want. And Big Show starts to cry, which summons Trips, who says he'd totally help Show find a different job, like a baggage handler or a paperboy. Then Trips's tone changes that Show would totally be able to get any job if he was only normal sized, but Show is “special.”

Show scowls, so Trips starts mocking tears. Show then starts quivering and shaking as he holds up his WMD fist. Show just settles on screaming in rage and walking away.

So... if I'm to glean anything from this, it's that Show is to WWE as Jim Carrey is to comedy, and that's not exactly a compliment. “Pull it back,” as directors would say.

Pre-Segment 8: Wow... Cameron must have been working on her ass dancing exercises. Hot outfits, and perhaps the hottest Ass Voltron ever (that didn't involve Kaitlyn).

Also: I completely didn't recognize Tamina Snuka. She's got her hair straight and pulled back, wearing leather and jeans... Pretty hot look, but I totally didn't recognize her until they said her name. Geez. [Ed. Note: just start calling her Lady Diesel. I think that's what I'm gonna do.]

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: AJ (w/ Tamina) defeats Cameron (w/ Naomi) by pin. Cameron also instantly catapulted herself into my heart (or at least my lap-region) by busting out a classic move pioneered by none other than My Melina... It was the Johnny Cage Split Leg Drop of Doom and Pyro's Pants-Creaming Pin! Between this and my Bailey's-coffee mix, it's turned into a good night after all!

(Fun fact: I almost busted out the intense spelling of “Melina,” but I just can't bring myself to do that until WWE lets bygones be bygones and brings her back for real. Assuming that has a snowball's chance in hell of actually happening.)

Otherwise, the match wasn't anything too special, though WWE allowed it to be full-length for an undercard match, which makes me happy. Cameron isn't exactly fully ring-capable, but she's made good strides, and AJ made her look good. All in all, “decent but nothing special,” and given the way WWE normally books diva matches (i.e., badly), that's a win.

The ending was cool, where AJ attacked Cameron in front of Tamina to make a point, I guess, then tossed her back in. Tamina stayed still, arms crossed and stoic, until Naomi ran over to run her mouth at AJ. AJ said something back, and Naomi was compelled to get up on the apron. Then Tamina decided to earn her paycheck, pulled Naomi off the apron by her waistline, then decapitated her with a clothesline. Good stuff.

AJ was happy with that, but while her back was turned, Cameron tried a schoolgirl pin. She only got a two though, and as she was trying to get up, AJ quickly recovered and nailed the Shining Wizard. Damn fine finish, even if the match was average.

Segment 9: Paul Heyman pops out onto the stage with no introduction or fanfare. He shows us a clip of Ryback beating the crap out of CM Punk at Night of Champions. Back to live, he grabs a mic and talks some shit to the crowd, mostly about how he's so super-awesome for beating Punk, and no one should be surprised, because Heyman so totally smarter.

This is complimented by more blathering and clips, mostly the Monday assault when Ryback put Punk through a table. Heyman gets to the point as he says that Ryback will face Punk at Battleground, but more blathering ensues. I mean, it's done well and all, but it's nothing overly interesting.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Santino Marella (w/ Khali & Hornswoggle) loses his goddamn mind against Heath Slater (w/ 3MB) by pin. So, the match opened with JBL completely failing at a joke. It's one of those things where, I saw what he was going for, but it totally failed in execution. Michael Cole did the setup by explaining that Santino decided to bring backup for this match in case 3MB got too frisky. JBL replied, “Yeah, counting Hornswoggle and Khali together, that's... like... two people!”

...Well, uh, duh, JBL. I'm pretty sure the average WWE fan, even the wankiest of the wankers, knows how to count. But I get it: he was trying to get it across that Horny counts a half-man, and Khali counts as a half-again man, so they cancel each other out and 1.5 + 0.5 = 2. So... again, good on him for basic math. But telling a “joke” where you end with a literally accurate statement isn't a joke, it's an observation. Dumbass.

But if that had been the most ridiculous thing in this match, I would have been happy... sadly, 'twas not the case. Allow me to, unfortunately, detail what transpired.

So it was basically a squash, and Santino pulled out the Cobra, ready to strike. Then Jinder Mahal hopped up on the apron, whipped out a flute, and started “playing” the go-to song when dealing with Egypt or the Middle East... I don't know its proper name, but it's the opening notes from this song. Can you e-mailers enlighten me on its title?

Anyway, because the sock is on Santino's hand, this totally “charms the snake,” which thankfully isn't a euphemism. The snake drags Santino toward Jinder, apparently keeping Slater safe.

But then Khali produces his own flute, hops up on the opposite apron, then starts playing a song as well. Now the snake (which, I may remind you, is still just a goddamn sock on Santino's arm) is confused and wavers between the two.

Drew McIntyre, not wanting anyone to upstage what is apparently 3MB's first of many assuredly bitching songs from the 3MB think-tank, tries to stop Khali. Khali is stopped... long enough to smack Drew with a brain chop.

Jinder continues to play, and it's so powerful that Santino is on his ass in the corner as the Cobra approaches his own throat. Santino tries to fight his own hand off, but it seems like he's going to lose against himself. But then it's Hornswoggle to the rescue, because why the hell not at this point, who pulls Jinder off the apron and breaks his flute.

Khali, now free of competing music from Aladdin's fever dreams, starts playing his own flute again. This gives the Cobra the strength to pull Santino up (and +10 points to the cameraman who actually framed the shot so it actually looks like Santino's arm defied gravity to lift the rest of him up), then nail Heath with the Cobra strike for real. Pin, done.

It was a very, very 80s comedy match, also reminiscent of (but not better than) that awesome clip of a match from Combat Zone Wrestling that made the Internet rounds for a bit. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here. It's definitely worth three minutes of your time.

Anyway... unbelievably silly, and completely out of character for WWE, but it wasn't exactly awful to see something this ridiculous once in a blue moon. Everyone involved sold it all like champs, and the crowd was into it, so even if the idea was incredibly stupid on paper, it was at least executed as well as it possibly could have been. Although, I have a feeling this face of Santino's after the match perfectly transpires what he looked like when they first pitched this whole idea to him:

Segment 11: Los Matadores are coming on Monday. About damn time... these vignettes are getting annoying.

Segment 12: Montage and recap by the commentators of the Rhodes' saga over the last month. Segue to the WWE.com interview between Trips and Cole. Trips is letting all of them—Dustin, Cody, and Dusty—to come to RAW this week to hash out some sort of “lucrative offer” to let bygones be bygones. Cody and Goldust responded in the affirmative to the invitation via Tout, which is apparently still a thing.

Segment 13 [Singles Match]: The Miz defeats Randy Orton by disqualification. Match started pure formula... Miz early offense, Orton does heel beatdown, Miz rallies. But during Miz's rally, he did a running charge to the corner and whiffed on a jumping lariat. Miz the ropes, then fell back on the mat, where he proceeded to oversell a shoulder.

Replays, then we see Miz out of the ring being checked on by the trainer. But Orton isn't having that, so he pulls Miz by the hair up to the apron, then hits the Hangman's DDT. Orton thinks about humping the ring, then just does mounted punches to Miz as the doc tries to get in the ring. The ref tries to pull Orton off, but Orton shoves him across the whole ring. Obviously, that draws the DQ.

But then out pops Trips, who is so totally sure that Orton just tried to get himself intentionally DQed so he could shit all over Miz's “opportunity.” So Trips orders the match restarted right now, except it'll be a no-DQ match. Jerk.

Segment 13.1 [Singles No-Disqualification Match]: Randy Orton defeats The Miz by pin. Even with Miz being checked on by two ringside trainers, Orton attacks and beats the holy hell out of Miz outside the ring, mostly flinging him shoulder-first into things. Miz gets a breath when he gets thrown into the timekeeper's area, but he pops up with a chair and delivers a few shots to Orton. But Orton gets his strength back and does a Hangman's DDT to the black mats using the barricade as leverage. Man, that always looks painful.

Miz was knocked out from that. Orton punched him a couple times in the face anyway, which Miz no-sold, which is a compliment there: he's “knocked out,” so of course he wouldn't sell. Orton eventually dead-lifts him up to throw him in the ring, then muscles him up, and hits an RKO. Again, Miz basically no-sells it, correctly.

Orton finally then makes a pin. Message received, Trips. Even Cole started openly questioning how any of this was “best for business,” which I hope Trips actually follows up on, rather than treating the commentators in a separate universe from the roster.

Final Thoughts: And so we end, with Orton barely getting time to hit the UPOD. Pretty tight timing, clearly, but not a lot of it was wasted. (Unless you thought the Santino match was totally useless, at which point I'd argue that you have no soul.)

Still, for as packed as the episode was, nothing really happened, other than Show being a cartoon of himself and Miz getting firmly placed at the top of Trips's shit-list. I'm surprised there wasn't any mention of Dolph being totally pissed off that he was screwed out of his chance at the US Title, unless they're going to give us the next chapter of that on Monday.

Otherwise, I've said everything I need to say, and the Bailey's has apparently made an unholy pact with the tacos in the pit of my stomach. Pretty sure I should take care of that sooner than later, so I'll stop now and catch you guys next week.

Episode Grade: C


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